Schott and Arcus Foundations Partner to Empower Trans Students with Super Powers

Friday, June 17, 2016

Schott and Arcus Foundations Partner to Empower Trans Students with Super Powers

The Schott Foundation for Public Education joins the country and the international community in mourning all of the lives lost and injured during the recent shootings in Orlando targeting members of the LGBTQ community specifically, and our humanity more broadly. The hatred exhibited in Orlando calls into question what more our country can do to limit unnecessary gun violence and to ensure the safety and well-being of LGBTQ individuals where they live, work, learn, play, worship, and govern. During this difficult time, Schott reaffirms its commitment to resource advocates and campaigns to institutionalize the policies and practices that create healthy living and learning spaces for all.

We recognize that the threat of homophobic and transphobic violence is very real for many of us, including our children. 

Schott believes that every young person deserves to attend school in a safe, healthy living and learning environment that allows them to thrive and grow to their full potential. For nearly 25 years, Schott has utilized a race and gender lens through our grantmaking and research to understand and address the unique set of challenges facing students across the country that is inclusive of students who also identify as LGBTQ.

Schott and our partners have been focused on the myriad of challenges transgender students and transgender students of color experience every single day beyond the bathroom. 

80% of trans students feel unsafe at school because of their gender expression. 49% of trans people reported physical abuse in a 2007 survey. 41% of trans people have attempted suicide. [source] Trans youth of color are especially impacted in a society doubly stacked against them for both their race and gender expression. Students should be able to learn in a safe and supportive public school environment regardless of their gender expression. It's up to all of us to make that happen.

In May 2016, U.S. Departments of Justice and Education released joint guidance to help public schools ensure the civil rights of trans students: when students or their parents notify a school that a student is transgender, the school must treat the student in a manner consistent with the student’s gender identity in every situation, from the restroom to sports. The guidance also suggests schools establish additional privacy options that all students can use for any reason.

In partnership with the Arcus Foundation, Schott has supported the work of Massachusetts grantee BAGLY, the Boston Alliance of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender Youth, to elevate the voice of trans students in Boston Public Schools over the past few years. BAGLY youth leaders have identified several key ways that students, educators, and schools can help make our public education system more safe and supportive of trans students — it’s time to support the super powers of trans youth!